Macclesfield 43-19 Cambridge

Blues Director of Rugby Geoff Wappett hailed his side’s first half performance against Cambridge as ‘close to perfect’ as they won 43-19 at Priory Park

Macc had a try bonus point in the bag after just 27 minutes and lead 26-0 at half time on the way to a sixth straight win.

Wappett said: “The way we played is how I envisage us playing at our best.

“It is exactly how I want us to play and it was truly impressive.”

Ryan Parkinson, Gavin Wood, Franky Barker and the Mulchrone brothers Charlie and Fergus, all crossed for Macc, as Ross Winney added 13 points from the boot.

Both sides were reduced to 13 players at one stage, all of which for technical infringements.

Having played in ideal rugby conditions last week at Barking, they were faced with entirely different prospect at Priory Park, with the ground soft under foot and the wind ferocious.

Running into the wind in the first half, Macc were sensible and kept ball in hand to keep the visitors on the back foot.

Parkinson continued the fine form he has showed this season by opening the scoring on seven minutes, finishing well after a prolonged period or pressure.

Jack Moorhouse was unlucky not to grab a score shortly after when he breached the Cambridge defence but couldn’t finish.

The pressure continued for Macc and they were awarded a penalty try on 14 minutes, when Cambridge fly-half was deemed to have brought down an unstoppable 12-man rolling maul.

Josh Fowles caused countless problems on the left wing, coming close to scoring on a number of occasions, only to be prevented by some last-ditch Cambridge defending.

Macc didn’t let up though, and tries from Woods and Barker gave them a well-deserved 26-0 lead at the break, as well as sealing a 13th bonus point of the season.

Knowing a positive start was needed, Cambridge started brightly but any hope of a revival was quickly diminished when Charlie Mulchrone intercepted a loose pass to cross under the posts to put the result beyond doubt.

Mulchrone’s brother Fergus added Macc’s sixth try to leave the siblings level on 14 tries apiece for the season.

With an imposing 40-0 lead Macc rang the changes, but the fresh legs didn’t have the desired effect as two of the replacements were sin-binned in the final ten minutes, as Cambridge grabbed three consolation tries.

Winney had the final say with a penalty in the final minute to seal the bonus point victory and move to within just eight points of leaders Jersey.

Wappett added: “We spent a lot of energy in the first half and thus were very tired by the end.

“We worked very hard in an intense atmosphere, but our concentration was brilliant.”

Macc can make it seven wins in a row when they travel to the North-East to face Tynedale.

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